Spider-Man’s success in the gaming industry has surpassed that of other superhero franchises, but with the introduction of more diverse characters in the Spider-Verse series, a change in the franchise title may be necessary for inclusivity. The Spider-Verse series has breathed new life into the franchise by introducing relatable characters like Miles Morales. These characters, particularly female ones like Gwen and Jessica Drew, may soon take the spotlight in video game adaptations. As the Spider-Verse expands and includes more variations of Spider-Man, the focus should shift away from just Miles and Peter. The increasing roles of other characters, potentially of different genders, will require a reconsideration of the franchise’s name to be more inclusive.

Gamers would be hard-pressed to find a more popular franchise than Spider-Man in the action superhero genre, with the Marvel character taking over the gaming scene since the Game Boy days of The Amazing Spider-Man back in the early 90s. Other extraordinary personas like Superman, Iron Man, and the Incredible Hulk have also had video game renditions over the years, as more characters continue to make the transition from the big silver screens to gaming consoles, but the commercial success of the Spider-Man series trumps most competitors out of both the DC and Marvel franchises. With the diversification of the web-throwing experience in recent times with the blockbuster Spider-Verse series to include multiple characters and genders, Marvel might need to introduce a caveat to its legendary franchise title in the interest of inclusivity.

Traditionally, the Spider-Man series has followed the uppity New York lives of Peter Parker and Mary Jane, as the superhero swings his webs from skyscrapers to famous parks chasing after all sorts of nefarious criminals and aliens to save his city from danger. While this dynamic had done wonders for the franchise through stellar Box Office numbers and an impressive discography of video game releases, repeating the same story with little – if any – tweaks runs the risk of getting old in the eyes of the consuming public, and the Spider-Verse series solved that problem in the cinemas. With big changes in the cinematic storyline, video game renditions need to follow suit, and the “Spider-Man” moniker might be subject to change.

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Spider-Man‘s Spider-Verse movies have been a welcome breath of fresh air for the franchise, introducing multiple relatable characters like Miles Morales and stepping away from the traditional romance theme of Peter Parker saving Mary Jane and all of New York from impending doom. The same story had been re-told in several ways, and some fans were beginning to suffer from fatigue before the critically acclaimed Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse released in 2018. Popular characters in superhero movies typically headline video games, and Miles basked in the sunshine of fan attention in short order, appearing as the protagonist in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

With Miles’ silver screen mega-hit, the franchise’s view shifted from a lone star to a dynamic duo, and the development of the Spider-Men became the focus for future renditions. However, a driving factor behind Into The Spider-Verse‘s remarkable numbers was the characters from alternate dimensions like Spider-Gwen, a Spider-Woman who fell into Miles’ timeline after a battle with Dr. Octopus. While Peter Parker and Miles Morales dominated the limelight in the movie’s aftermath, Gwen took on an expanded role in the recently released Across the Spider-Verse, and it likely wouldn’t surprise fans if she appears in a video game as a main character soon.

Gwen isn’t the only female character thriving in the Spider-Man multiverse, as Jessica Drew and Spider-Byte also made waves in Across the Spider-Verse, and multiple Spiders appear in different variations like Peter ParkedCar and Peter Porker. As the multiverse expands to include more variations of Spider-Man, the focus should shift from Miles and Peter to other Spider-people. The increasing roles of these characters present a nomenclature problem for future Spider-Man games, as their inclusion expands beyond the traditional confines of Spider-Man as players know it.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales set the stage for the upcoming Marvel’s Spider-Man 2‘s storyline, which seeks to continue the journey of Miles and Peter Parker, and the video game rendition of Miles only came after his dynamic cinema performance. As more Spider-Women appear in the movies and take center stage, it stands to reason that characters of other genders will become playable in a gaming world sometime in the future. In this event, the Marvel’s Spider-Man moniker would eventually need a rework for the franchise to include every represented gender, with Spiders, Spider-Verse, or Spider-People all being possibilities.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 launches on October 20 for PlayStation 5.

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 Spider-Man is one of the most famous names in entertainment history, but the emergence of the Spider-Verse necessitates a name change.  Read More